Even the Georgian soldiers said that during the August war they had seen the Mother of God over Tskhinval - Father Jacob

Tue, 08/08/2023 - 17:44

A memorial service for the victims of the August 2008 war was held in the Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Tskhinval on Tuesday. The prayer service was served by the priest of the Alanian Diocese, father Jacob (Khetagurov).

Khetagurov has noted that it is impossible to forget the August events of 2008.

“We all remember the beginning of the war. The shelling began at night, and so far it was not entirely clear what it was. Then it became clear: a large-scale war had begun. We heard that columns of Georgian troops were moving towards us. We spent the whole night in the shelter, in the porches, cellars. We had children and women with us. In the morning it became clear: we need to save women and children,” Khetagurov recalled.

The clergyman noted the heroism of many citizens of the Republic who took up arms and risked their lives to save women and children.

“Many of our citizens, showing heroism, walked through the basements under shelling, took women and children and took them out of the burning Tskhinval along the Zar road,” he has noted.

Khetagurov has noted that all these days he was serving prayers, having stressed that this strengthened the spirit of people, gave faith in salvation.

"From our house on Tabolova Street, we saw Georgian stormtroopers driving along Oktyabrskaya Street and realized that they had entered the city. We understood what would happen next. We knew that they did not leave alive people who were hiding from the war in basements. With us was the icon "From Troubles Guard" and on August 8-9 I was literally serving a prayer service every hour. There were women and teenagers in the shelter, but despite the fact that everyone was afraid, there was no panic, everyone supported each other. There was a moment when a Georgian tank stood in front of us and was firing point-blank at the houses,” he said.

The clergyman has recalled how guys, defenders of the motherland, came to their basement and reported that the enemy was retreating from the city, that South Ossetian fighters were fighting to protect the people.

“When our guys came, it was a miracle, because they came from the Station Square, and this territory was occupied. But they reported that the enemy was retreating from the city. It was a happy occasion,” he has recalled.

Khetagurov has also noted that a few years later it was decided to immortalize the salvation of the city and the people with an icon.

“After that, we decided that it was necessary to paint an icon in honor of the salvation of our city. This decision was supported by our parishioners. We made a list of all the miracles we saw, and our parishioner handed them over to the icon painters. They painted a beautiful icon "The image of the Blessed Virgin Mary Heavenly consolation of Tskhinval." Many said that they had seen the Mother of God during the war. Even the Georgian soldiers who were standing over the city were talking about it. This icon has become very popular; many people from Russia began to order it when they learn about its history. The icon is becoming revered,” Khetagurov has emphasized.

The clergyman has noted that today South Ossetia can live a peaceful life thanks to the courage of the South Ossetian soldiers and Russian soldiers who came to our rescue.

“We will be praying that there will be no more war, and that there will always be peace, love and prosperity on our land,” Khetagrov said.

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